Whatever I had awaited to happen… didn't. For over a minute I stood there, again watching the black dark maw, not feeling a thing but the pull its sight created within me. Disappointment settled quickly, leaving me even more empty than before.
It had only been in my mind.
I turned away from the black hole and left the room, heading towards my own quarters. That really had been weird and left me feel a little spooked. All the different horror movies and creepy pastas I knew came to mind once more, but those weren't real, right? How could they? And I had been warned that the hole could drive one mad, so there was that.
Perplex I blinked at my feet, realizing I had stopped moving and were just standing there, staring into nothingness. When I looked up, the surroundings had completely changed.
Where the hell am I?
Just seconds ago I had been near the control room, but now I was in some corridor, surrounded by stone walls. Had I walked? I couldn't remember. There were no coloured cables around to tell me where to go, either.
And there were...
"What the hell?" I mumbled as I, again, found myself in a new place out of nowhere, glaring at the wall of the room I suddenly stood in.
It was definitely some storage room and not at all connected to the corridor I came from. Outside I found myself in one of the octagonal shaped tubes than ran across the surface. How had I gotten there? Why couldn't I remember?
I shook my head and leaned a hand against the wall, breathing slow to not fall into a panic. My gaze fell onto my hand and I startled once more.
There were black symbols all over my skin.
They looked like letters, vaguely reminding me of the ones I had seen below the writing in the room we had first entered.
Welcome to hell.
Six to the power of six every six seconds.
My head spun. Was this some joke? A weird dream? Was I actually still lying on that beach, bleeding out and hallucinating about stuff while the last seconds of my life trickled by? The black letters spread across my wrists as well, covering the healed up scars. Could it be? Was I still out there?
There was a window nearby, no, a door, leading outside. The black sun was visible from here, radiating darkness, calling out to my soul, begging me to come closer. There was nothing to lose anyway, I could simply...
'Emergency hull breach!' the computer voice called out. 'Emergency hull breach!'
"Move!" someone called and grabbed me by the elbow, dragging me along. Somehow I had changed locations again, from the previous door, yet into another section of the base, without knowing how. The ground was shaking, making it hard to keep my balance.
Was it the ground? Was it the whole base?
'Emergency hull breach!,' the voice called out once more.
I stumbled through a door and found myself with the Doctor and the others. They all made faces as if something terrible had just happened and paid me and my unknown companion barely any attention.
"Wha'?" I brought out. "Shit, that's confusing. What happened?"
Ida gnawed on her bottom lip, but answered. "Scooti. She's dead. Must've been sucked out during the hull breach."
My mouth dropped open, feeling dry. "S... sorry," I muttered, not knowing what else to say.
Danny was pacing up and down the room, tossing glances at his shoes and at me. "First the telepathic signal from the Ood went haywire, now that... that's not good. Not good at all. And whoever let that one out needs to be fired right away."
He pointed at me with an angry look and I shrunk together, eyes wide in sudden fear. What was going on? Had I done something?
"Don't worry," someone said behind me, "I let myself out."
Immediately Jefferson and some of the armed guys drew their weapons, pointing them in my direction. Or rather in the direction of the one, who had brought me here. Confused I turned around and found the Master standing there, a smug smile on his face.
"One wrong move I let them shoot you," Jefferson warned. "Did you cause the breach? Answer."
The Master snickered. "Oh, don't be daft, human. It's not my style to bring myself in danger. Just thought I'd teach you that there aren't any doors that can hold me. If I want out, I'll get out."
"Then maybe we should just shoot you right on the spot, before you can do more harm?"
Weapons were unlocked and readied. And not a single voice spoke up against it, the Doctor only glancing away and at the floor. Only the Captain spoke up, addressing the pin-stripe-suited Time Lord and tearing his gaze upwards.
"You know the man best, Doctor," he spoke. "You think, he's the one who caused Scooti's death?"
The Doctor's eyes darted this way and that, his hands fidgeting. He didn't look at the Master, not once, but finally he nodded, speaking as if his mouth was dry. "I... I'm not sure he did. But he... would. Given the chance."
"Right, that settles it. We're too few to take risks." The Captain held up his hand and signalled Jefferson his okay.
"Wait!" I called out. They weren't really doing this, were they? "You can't be serious!"
Behind me the Master chuckled darkly. "Oh, they are. Always knew I'd end up dead because of your kind. Should have extinguished all of you a long time ago."
Jefferson shook his head. "Can't risk a psychopath running around freely. The whole base and crew might be in danger. And if we can't lock you away..." He waved a finger at the Master's direction and his men raised the rifles to their eyes.
Without even thinking about it I took a hasty step backwards to stand in front of the Time Lord and held my arms out. "Have you all gone mad? You can't shoot him!"
Silence lay itself upon the room, all eyes resting on me. The whole situation was just absurd, crazy. This wasn't happening! I saw Danny glancing at me, brows furrowed and certainly not happy about my behaviour. Ida looked uncertain, gnawing on her lip. Zach scowled, Jefferson seemed confused. And the Doctor... his eyes were locked with the Master's, apologizing? Pleading? Maybe a bit of both.
A hand was on my shoulder, squeezing it lightly. "Go out of the way, lil' lumin," the Master said softly and with a teasing undertone.
"What? No!" I stared up at him, wide eyed. "They can't just kill you! I won't allow it!"
The look on his face was honestly surprised, confused even, as if he was unable to understand why anyone would be concerned about him. His hand slipped from my shoulder, landed back at his site, limp and unmoving. For a second each and every one of his masks seemed to fall away, revealing an expression I couldn't place. He only seemed... lost.
Zach coughed, broke the silence. He addressed the Master directly, "Do you have anything to do with the breach or Scooti's death?"
The Master tore his gaze away from me and faced the other man.
"No. There's nothing to gain for me in doing so." He crossed his arms, glanced once again down at me, then back to the Captain, mumbling, "And I have a certain feeling you would regret having that one as your enemy."
With that he poked my back, making me jump slightly.
"Well then," Zach spoke up, at me, this time. Uncertainty swung in his voice. "He's your responsibility from now on. If anything happens, you both will have to carry the consequences." He faced away and to the others. "Let's see how big the damage is and get back to work. We'll hold a small ceremony for Scooti in the morning."
With that he rushed out of the room through one of the other doors. Ida cast a quick glance at me and left as well. Danny seemed reluctant, but finally spoke up, before leaving as well.
"Guess I'm not going to trust you anymore," he mumbled towards me. "No further lessons."
He left with slumped shoulders, followed by Toby, who kept quiet the whole time. In the end it was only the Doctor, who remained with us, unable to speak, but also to simply leave. The Master walked past me and stood in front of the other Time Lord.
"Look at you," he spat. "You're such a coward."
"I'm not a-"
"Oh, you are!" the Master shouted in his face. "No nuts to kill me yourself, but if others do it, you have no problem just standing there. Pathetic!"
The Doctor seemed to shrink with every word, his face showing pain and hurt. Eventually his glance darted towards me, but whatever he saw on my face made it only worse. Not that I knew much about him, but in that moment he appeared more vulnerable and beaten than I could have imagined him ever looking.
The base shook again, violently enough to send the Doctor to his bum. The Master grabbed my arm to prevent me from falling and held on to a handle on the wall. This time it took over a minute for the tremor to stop, but at least there was no computer voice telling of another breach.
There only was... the sun. The black sun above our heads. Not visible, but still present. It was calling out to me, waving it's tendrils at my mind, clawing into my thoughts.
"I have to see it," I muttered and tried to get out of the Master's grip.
But he only held onto me even tighter, until I gave up and shook my head, suddenly aware that the base stood still again. The Doctor still sat on the ground, looking confused and uncertain. And also exhausted. For a brief second I could sense how distressed he was, how much he must have struggled already and how it had all worn him down.
It didn't matter. He wasn't important. My eyes followed his every movement as he got himself up from the ground, a small chuckle escaped my mouth. In this very moment I suddenly knew what had happened to me, I felt it. There was power, raw and sharp, running through my whole being.
"What the hell, Lucy?" the Doctor let out, staring at me in horror. "Your skin! Your eyes!"
The Master was in my line of view, pushing the Doctor aside to take a glance at me. His face dropped in puzzlement as he saw me. Something inside my mind, the thing that gave me power, bubbled through the surface. It wanted to speak, I could sense it, so I let them use my voice, although it now sounded contorted and way deeper than it should.
"Time Lords," I spoke. "Ahhh, your foolish kind was always amusing. But now I am awoken, now I have the vessel I searched for."
"What are you?" the Doctor demanded. "What have you done to Lucy."
"Done?" I roared out a deep laugh. "I gave that child the power to bath the universe in fire and despair. Because I am the beast. My heart is it that beats in the darkness. I will rise!"
I laughed once again, not sure if it was the entity or myself. This was hilarious and fantastic, all at once!
"Let go of her!" the Doctor called out, while the Master only watched the scene with raised eyebrows, clearly leaving it to his counterpart to get himself in trouble. "Whatever you are, if you want to leave this place, we can help."
The Master snorted, but didn't say a word. The thing in my head laughed without a noise, as if it was winking at me from inside. "You have nothing to offer, Time Lord. Destroyer of your own kind. I am the beast. I am Satan. I am older than all of you and all of your people."
"The beast?" The Doctor let out, dumbfounded. "No... no, no, no, that's only a myth. Which one anyway? Cos the universe has been busy since you've been gone. There's more religions than there are planets in the sky. The Archiphets, Orkology, Christianity, Pash Pash, New Judaism, San Klah, Church of the Tin Vagabond. Which devil are you?"
"All of them and so much more than you can fathom." Again there was this silent chuckle in my head. The entity clearly had their fun messing with the Time Lord.
Now, though, the Master decided to step in, probably bored already. "I have enough of you. Leave the human alone and pick one of the others."
"No," the entity simply spoke and giggled with a devilish smile. The next words were mine, or were they not? "What do you care? You push this human away. You are too scared, your hearts too cold already. No hope is left for one like you."
"Oh, watch me," the Master growled, "and you will see who should be afraid!"
He wanted to step forward, but before he could, the Doctor held a hand out, signalling him to wait another moment.
"How did you even end up on this rock?" The Doctor wanted to know and the Master watched every reaction of mine carefully.
The thing squirmed, roared in my head, anger and hatred flooding my thoughts. "The Disciples of the Light rose up against me and chained me in the pit for all eternity."
"I never heard of that. When was this?"
"Before time," came the foreboding answer.
"What does that mean?"
"Before time," the beast repeated, offering no further explanation.
Hatred and heat dissipated, got replaced by some more amusement, although I sensed it was getting tired of this conversation. I certainly was. I wanted to try out whatever possibilities I had gained, wanted to use this extraordinary energy that coursed through my very being.
Patience, little one, the thing whispered in my head, then chuckled lightly.
"There is no such thing as before time," the Master grumbled. "Nothing existed, then."
"Yeah," the Doctor seconded. "No life, no light, no nothing. See? You're talking nonsense! Give Lucy back. Now!"
He raised his sonic screwdriver, pointing it directly at me. I had no clue if it also had a laser, like the Master's, and I had no intention to find out. Raw power swam through my veins, a silent command told me to lift my hand, palm facing towards the Doctor. His eyes widened, as did the grin on my face. Suddenly there was an eruption of energy, invisible to the eye, but strong enough to toss the Time Lord through the room, to smash him against the wall, where he sunk down, unconscious.
Next my eyes landed on the Master, head slightly tilted. I was giddy with excitement.
"What use is a silly gun, what could I gain from taking one life?" I asked him, grinning. "If death and fire amuses you so much... watch out."